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back to article AT&T's adds 'Next' plan to allow phone, tablet trade-ins after one year

In a bid to get out from under the billions of dollars in subsidies it pays to smartphone and tablet manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung, AT&T is instituting a plan it calls AT&T Next, in which you pay the full price of the device yourself in 20 monthly payments and have the option to trade it in after 12 months for a new …

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T-Mobile's plan is about 1/3 the cost of AT&Ts.

Basically, this move puts AT&T into the same sort of class as those rent-to-own stores and payday loan companies. But I guess that if you've gotta have it right now and can't make good financial decisions, this is the right program for you.

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Trollface

"Basically, this move puts AT&T into the same sort of class as those rent-to-own stores and payday loan companies."

So you're saying it's a move *up* for AT&T...

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So much taking the piss...

I thought the telcos were in the bathroom. T-Mobile went to this, hey pay upfront or pay for the device over the course of the contract... If you look at the prices of bringing your own device, they're exactly the same as they were before they decided to bring this brilliant plan in, and exactly the same as they were if you got a phone with your plan.

T-Mobile found a way to increase their profits and cut their expenses at the same time, AT&T sees a good scam working and is getting in too. End of story.

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Re: So much taking the piss...

Yes, exactly, the spin this as a plus for the customer while in-effect raising the costs by a huge percentage.

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Anonymous Coward

Subsidy, what subsidy?

There never was any subsidy. Only installment payment.

No matter how you spin it.

Although they would like you to believe that they subsidized the handset for you, ignorant punters.

Wake up and smell the coffee and find out why they are minting millions from you, especially on the 2 year lock ins.

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Re: Subsidy, what subsidy?

"There never was any subsidy. Only installment payment."

The big Canadian providers sort of give you a subsidy. You can be sure they pay for the phone during the contract, but the price says the same after the contract. If you sign up for another contract they will give you a $50 credit or "free" voice mail for 3 months. Have your own phone? Same price. They say you might as well take the free phone because you are going to pay the same anyway.

You have to go to one of the smaller providers to get a deal if you have your own phone.

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Good ol' ripoff pricing scheme from AT&T...

...when compared to T-Mobile: AT&T basically DOUBLES the amount they are subsidizing because your CONTRACT FEE, which already includes a 24-month payment schedule, WON"T GO DOWN A CENT. EVER.

And that's just beyond the fact that T-Mobile monthly service is a LOT cheaper.

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Taxing the Economically/Mathematically less-abled

This is a terrible bargain if AT&T does not discount the service plan commensurate with the phone's monthly payment.

Just look at eBay, it has long been known the cheapest way to own an iPhone is to buy the 3 year AppleCare contract up front then 18 to 24 months later when AT&T permits an "upgrade" one "buys" a new $200 iPhone plus $100 AppleCare and sells the old on eBay for $250 to $350. The buyer gets a used iPhone warrantied by Apple for another year or so. The subscriber gets a (seemingly) no cost upgrade. Its cheaper than replacing the batteries.

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Re: Taxing the Economically/Mathematically less-abled

Exactly right. I'm hoping that when AT&T makes this available on their website they'll have some special plans that go with it. If you have to keep paying the same monthly amount you do now, which subsidizes phones by ~$20/month, this will be the biggest ripoff in history.

I was already thinking about letting my AT&T contract expire (or doing early termination if I decide to buy a phone sooner than that) and going with one of the MVNOs. The only thing I thought might stop me would be if they dropped subsidies. If they drop subsidies from the phone purchase but keep them from the plans I'll feel good about dumping them - they'll deserve it.

I used to get all sorts of special breaks from them for being a customer since 2000, but nowadays I'm no better than someone who just signed up last week. They seem to be doing everything they can to get rid of all their long term customers. If that's what they want...

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